Basement excavation project using RC toys enters eleventh year

Originally published at:


being used to escavate basement

Just a quick fix or two necessary there Rob. Cheers!


Hang in there, retirement is right around the corner.


I knew the unemployment rate in Lilliput is pretty grim, but hiring themselves out to excavate big people basements? That’s desperation, right there. And I don’t want to think about the casualty rate for those construction workers - losses to cat predation alone must be astronomical.

The Lilliputian government really needs to get its head out of its ass and do something to promote economic growth at home.


Weird and wonderful indeed.


Next up, a remote controlled safe cracker.


Eleven years? I doubt he’s working his full 40 hours.

1 Like

Almost as oddly satisfying as those videos of bizarre Russian trucks trying to get out of the mud. Still doesn’t hold a candle, however, to the videos of the wonderfully wacky, super-specialized farm vehicles used in Europe ^^’.

1 Like

Missing the Doozers and Fraggles.


Missed opportunity i hope someone remedies ASAP.

Imagine this was the Moon or a structure in orbit rather than someone’s basement. That’s the possibility I’ve seen in these machines for the past several years --in part, inspired by this guy’s videos.

Much of robotics has its roots in the RC modeling world. Today’s seemingly ubiquitous multirotor drones had their start by combining the Arduino with parts from Wii hand controllers and RC model planes. I see in these model excavators the roots of hobbyist space telerobots that could become the first generation of a family of machines opening up access to space in a way few have ever imagined possible. The whole of the near-Earth environment is potentially accessible from a home office via the Internet --no 12 million dollar space suits and extreme training required.

Launch costs are driven not by rocket technology but by payload values and the engineered reliability those values compel. By shifting production capability to space --making value out there instead of sending it there-- we realize a potential economy in space access that makes anything Elon Musk has to offer seem insignificant. If only we could get past the Team Zizzou schtick of space agencies and the Willy Wonka oligarchs alike…


This becomes real interesting if you can automate them. Program a decent algorithm or a light AI and let them work on your basement while you are off doing other things. Could be really cool to check in every day, see the progress, tweak the code.

If you truly want to excavate your basement you will probably also need some kind of conveyor belt to actually take the earth out of your basement, instead of just moving it around.


This is exactly what it felt like when I was in a tall building in manhattan overlooking a construction site next door once. It looks like a big sandbox and looked like fun.

1 Like

I believe i have seen videos of some of these kinds of RC machines that were automated. They’re probably not terribly smart but these types of drones are infinitely more interesting to me than the flying kind.


need a Rotortilt on that thing

I’d skip the conveyer belt and approach it mini-strip mine style with ramps and a small fleet of trucks and diggers. The controller/ai could be working off 3D plans. You could end up being able to do keyhole construction projects where normal excavation wasn’t an option.

Of course you’d drastically increase the efficiency of the operation by removing the restriction of having the machinery be scale models of real diggers.


This is way cool.

That looks / sounds like some small hydraulics in there, so I have to wonder about a concealed electrical cord running a decent amount of power to the machine.

Edit: watching longer, it looks self-contained. Impressive.

1 Like

Hire the Nac Mac Feegle to police/patrol the place and no cat casualties, guaranteed.


His lowest viewed video has more views than all of mine combined…

He should have hired the Contractor of Speed and Time.